Behind the scenes with Paul

Solent Events Seafin 31,8,16

From varnishing the boat to entertaining guests, I get to do maintenance jobs in the winter and be a fun filled host in the summer, says Seafin’s Operations Manager, Paul Hunt.

Paul’s days on Seafin began when he joined the part-time crew a number of years ago. He painted and varnished his way up to become chief host and is now our Operations Manager, where his efforts continue Seafin’s rich heritage as a pleasing luxury passenger vessel.

‘My job includes running Seafin’s winter maintenance programme and organising everything to be in place on board when we take clients out, says Paul. It sounds like a relatively simple task but it’s a full-time role with plenty to consider.

Unlike her competitors, Seafin has a traditional and impressive varnished finish, which means she has few rivals as a smart, wood-based motor yacht. Winter maintenance involves making a list of what needs to be done and finding the right people to do it. The engineer Don, skipper Fred, myself and two crew members all go into making the boat a success. Painting starts in October and seems to go on forever, and varnishing must be done last. The trickiest part is co-ordinating everything so it looks perfect for the start of the season in April.

Paul knows that the team must get as much done as possible before the season begins because after that, we are flat out and focused on keeping our onboard guests happy.  We say that guests should be able to eat their dinner off the floorboards

The quality of crew is backed by one overriding principle of pride. Everyone who works on the boat including the part-time crew is proud to work on Seafin, appreciates her beauty and wants to maintain high standards. If a potential crew member isn’t as impressed with the boat as the customers, they are not hired.

We understand that our clients are bringing their own customers on board and we are dedicated to impressing them. The crew applies round-the-clock service that includes continuously topping up drinks glasses. We are very picky about who we employ and select crew who are relaxed and enjoy talking to customers. They have to be the type not to think twice about greeting customers onto the boat.

The space onboard the 75-foot motor yacht helps the crew to be attentive to passengers every need. We have enough room to do onboard catering, never run out of alcohol and generally ensure that we keep everyone happy.

The motorboat has three levels: the top deck where most people spend their days fits 30 people comfortably; the middle deck has an open gallery to eat food; and the four cabins below have power-showers to keep guests warm after riding the jet-skis. She’s very comfortable and luxurious, with lots of viewing areas to watch the passing boat races. People have the full run of the boat and can find somewhere to relax whatever they want to do, whether that’s sitting on deck out the back or reading a magazine on the comfy sofas inside.

Then there’s the wheelhouse, which is open to customers who want to take the wheel and learn to steer under the supervision of skipper Fred, whose 30 years experience mean he takes any hiccup in his stride.

The MCA has licensed Seafin as a Class 6 passenger vessel, able to carry 10 crew and entertain 30 passengers.

Some guests may not appreciate the scale of Seafin’s safety standards, which are annually tested by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).  The class applies to the condition of the boat and the safety equipment onboard.  We are accountable to the MCA for our licence as an entertainment boat, but we go beyond that, with more lifejackets than necessary. We even have dog lifejackets on board.

On any given day on Seafin, jet-skis are the most popular entertainment. They really add to the whole package, adds Paul. They get people on the water no matter the weather and they can have a hot shower and cold beer in their hands shortly afterwards. The toys create good banter between clients and guests too. Whenever people are a little nervous of using them our fully-trained crew are happy to gently show them how.

Paul knows more than most about the hard winters work that makes Seafin such a valuable option for client entertainment. While other boats add catering charges to their starting prices, there are no hidden charges with us. Our prices include crew, drinks, harbour mooring duties and fuel.

Seafin is a really fun way to get a large number of people to notice your company without having to spend a lot of money.